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Alternative Uses for Your Facebook Business Page

If you operate or have considered launching a Facebook business page you will have faced the often puzzling question, what to put on it? Hopefully these few ideas will give you some alternative approaches and at the same time give you a route onto Facebook without having to badger your staff for new wall posts every morning.

1. The Temporary Website

Holding pages can be very dull and often remain live longer than you’d hoped. The website is not quite ready yet, down for maintenance, moving servers etc. etc. can all product holding pages. A customised error page can even be a lead to more information. Places links, or Facebook Boxes on these temporary pages to your Facebook page, a ‘live’ source of information and interaction where your customers can continue to keep in touch. Once the website is live you will also be in a stronger position to let your customers know the site is running again.

2. Special Offers

Discounts, sales and other promotions are often a great way to bring in new business and give added value to existing customers. Updating your website with these offers can be a hassle if you’re not in regular contact with your designer but changing them on a Facebook page is considerably easier. The use of an additional tab on your Facebook page with the offer clearly shown including graphics and links will give you the platform you need for short-term promotions. Longer term offers can also be included but it’s best to keep Facebook pages regularly changing for maximum impact. If you can’t replicate the offer on your website call them ‘Facebook Only’ offers to drive more people through your Facebook page and give them a sense of ‘VIP Access’. The Facebook settings on your business page will also allow you to set specific tabs as your Facebook ‘home tab’. This puts your offer in front of anyone who clicks through to your page, instead of seeing the wall first.

3. Added Interactivity

Scripts and other interactive features can be tricky or expensive to implement on a website if you’re not a developer. Countless scripts and ‘apps’ abound for use on Facebook so make use of their unique features. Polls, caption competitions, photo contests, discussions and video uploads are all incredibly easy to use via Facebook, for you and your followers. You won’t even see an invoice for additional hosting costs when 1000 people suddenly upload a video of themselves using your product!

Create a graphic for your website, e-mail newsletter and other ad outlets directing your target market to your Facebook page for free entry and the chance to win. Prizes don’t have to be expensive, an engaging competition can be just as enticing as a big prize and often bring in a more pre-qualified target market customer than a cash give-away. Be creative and you’ll quickly see your Facebook page swell with ‘likes’ and entries. Don’t forget to follow up on on every new person ‘liking’ your page with genuine interaction via your wall posts. Additional posts subtly woven into ‘chat’ will keep people coming back for more.

4. Customer Service Management

Specific areas of your business may benefit from siphoning off customer service management. Testimonials and good comments are the most obivous; if you have a complaint call or e-mail us directly. If you enjoyed using our product please leave us a message on our Facebook page.

This frees up valuable time for your customer service reps and gives your marketing team a more focused collection of comments to review. If you anticipate a high number of testimonials or comments create a separate tab for them and adjust your Facebook page settings to ‘moderated’. This way you can filter the comments before they go live to the public. Don’t ignore the complainer looking for the opportunity to break the continuity of your good comments though, respond to their concern but don’t approve it for public viewing. If you’re feeling particularly brave (and you wouldn’t be the first), allow complaints on your Facebook page with the strategy of showing your fanatical customer service responses. Bear in mind time zones and out of office periods, a late Friday complaint will get 48 hours of airing before a Monday morning response.

5. Staff Contact, Past and Present

Award ceremonies, staff events, parties, birthdays, reunions and contact with foreign offices are all good uses for a Facebook page. They allow for easy interaction, photo and video postings and other interactive communications. Former employees can keep in touch, employees travelling or in other offices can communicate via chat, wall posts or messages. It may be worth moderating the comments as you don’t want a ‘whinge-fest’ in public either but a policy or guideline setting out the benefits of sharing and promoting each others work will help build a community of fun which reflects well on your company.

6. Special Events

If you’ve taken a stand at an expo or trade show you’ll know how detached you feel from your office and often your customers. These manic events can be a great oppportunity to network offline and online though. Facebook location features and other social media like FourSquare allow you to ‘log in’ at your current location. Show your customers via Facebook that you’re still talking to them even though you’re at a show. Take stand photos of customers and point-of-sale and post them on your Facebook page. Ask customers to log their location as ‘at your stand’ inside the trade show. Photos and videos of them trying your products are all content for your social media updates. Don’t forget to sign them up for your newsletter too.

7. Testing

If you’re launching a new product or service use Facebook to test drive the brand, logo, image style, and demographics. Assuming the launch falls within the Facebook user demographic this is an easier route to making an online splash than traditional website launch and SEO management. Be prepared to follow up with a full website, SEO campaign, e-mail subscription service and product delivery channel when your Facebook content goes viral though.

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